This past week our listings saw an average of less than one showing each. It was one of the slowest weeks for showing activity that we’ve seen all year. The market is definitely showing signs of another slowdown. Perhaps it could be attributed to shifted priorities as parents prepare to send the kids back to school. Or it could be a sign of a broader slowdown. Typically we see things slow down before school starts and there is a mini-surge during September & October. Time will tell if this year will prove to follow the trends.
This week we will publish our monthly E-Newsletter and we’ll report the statistics for home sales in Mecklenburg County for July. As expected, post-tax credit sales have slowed tremendously and some of the other indicators seem to be following suit. My sincere hope is that the declining numbers are just a minor valley that follow the tax credit surge. But there don’t seem to be any really strong economic indicators that point to rapid improvement in real estate sales. Prices are still way down and interest rates are at historic lows, but there isn’t currently any evidence that the opportunities are going away anytime soon.
Here is a sneak peak at the numbers when comparing July 2010 to the previous month and then to the same period last year:
Home sales were down 35% since June and down 20% from last year.
Average sales price was up 4.6% from June and up 5.65% from last year.
Average time on market is up 3% from June and down 1% from last year.
Pending home sales are down 5.8% from June and down 14.6% from last year.
Supply is up 10.7% from June and down 8.3% from last year.
Mortgage rates are slighly lower than they were in June and down almost 3/4 points from last year.
So, while prices seem to be holding steady and interest rates are lower, all the other indicators are pointing to a dip in the market. This time last year the market was beginning to show stronger signs of improvement as first time buyers were taking advantage of the tax credits. Now that the credits have expired, it does appear that the market is slipping again.
The timing of a slowdown is certainly not ideal since the real estate market typically slows anyway during the fall and the holiday season. That could mean a doubly slow fall for home sellers. Of course, that also means tremendous opportunity for buyers.
The economy is stabilizing and beginning to head in the right direction, but it is happening much slower than anyone would like. Motivated sellers will have to be aggressive to find contracts this fall. And those that are on the fence are probably better off waiting until spring. My prediction is that the spring of 2011 will be strong for housing because of pent up demand that is being created by today’s uncertainty.